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Tips for Visiting Tiananmen Square

Plan your Beijing tour?  The so called world largest public square is a must see site on your first trip to Beijing. Tiananmen Square is mainly composed of the national flagpole (spectacular flag ceremony) in the north; the Monument to the People’s Heroes and the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong in the middle and the beautiful Zhengyang Gate in the south.

Tiananmen Square is flanked by the Gate of Heavenly Peace (the entrance to The Forbidden City) on the north, Chinese National Museum on the east, the Great Hall of the People (China’s parliament) on the west and Qianmen (Arrow Tower) on the south.

How to get there

1. Subway: Take Subway Line 1, get off at Tiananmen East or Tiananmen West;

2. Public Bus: Bus No. 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 52, 120 or 802 , get off at Tiananmen East or Tiananmen West Station

Notice to Tiananmen Square Visitors

Before you plan your trip to Tiananmen Square, you are advised to pay attention to the official notice to the visitors.

Entering Tiananmen Square

For security reason, Tiananmen Square is a fenced square circled by low iron grids with main four entrances – east, west, south and north.  The square is now open to the public till midnight, but all the tourists have to pass a security check before they enter the square. So check points have been set up at all the entrances leading to the square.

Visiting the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong

Usually you have to queue up for visiting the mausoleum especially on Chinese public holidays. Below are some important tips before you decide to join the crowd lining up:

1) You have to deposit any bags and cameras in a storage place next to the National Museum of China (to the east of the square).

2)No need for passports!

3) Wearing flip flop sandals is just all right though not encouraged. You don’t have to buy shoes on the spot.

4) Remember to be respectful when visiting, not to run, shout (or even talk) and photographs are a complete no-no.

5) Opening Time: 8:0am-12:00am Tue-Sun ( but it will change with different tourism season )

Mausoleum of Mao Zedong Admission is free. As with most mausoleums, strict rules are enforced for visitors. No bags and cameras are allowed inside the hall. One locker is located 500m to the east of the mausoleum.

The deposit is not free. Kind reminder: be vigilant on fake helpers and officials around Mao’s Tomb who are trying to rip you off by charging you exorbitantly for storing your bags or cameras.  The charges on deposit locker listed as below:

1. Storage charge for cameras

One-time cameral: CNY2

Normal camera: CNY3

Long lens camera, Laptop, Video camera

2. Storage charge for bags

Less than 20 cm: CNY2

20cm – 30cm: CNY3

30cm – 40cm: CNY4

40cm – 50cm: CNY5

50cm – 60cm: CNY6

60cm – 70cm: CNY7

70cm – 80cm: CNY8

80cm – 100cm: CNY10

Seeing the National Flag Ceremony

A group of soldiers of guard of honor come through the gate of Tiananmen Tower, south of the Forbidden City. The whole ceremony lasts only 3 munites. They time the flag raising at the exact moment of sunrise. You can check the timetable for flag raising and See Sunrise National Flag Raising Ceremony for more information.

Toilets on the Square

If you drink too much water and want to use a toilet, don’t worry. There are two toilets adjoining the National Museum of China on the east of Tiananmen Square. So you just go out of the east exit and move on directly to the toilets in the annex to the museum.

Drinks and Food Selling

If you feel thirsty or hungry, you can easily get what you want from the food and beverage store on the wheels in the square. Don’t litter.

Tiananmen Square Hotlines

Tiananmen Square Administration Committee: 65118600

Tiananmen Ambulance: 999, 120

By the way, before you enter Tiananmen Square for a short visit, you may first visit Qianmen Street, a renovated old commercial street; after Tiananmen Square, you may continue to walk in the north direction to visit Forbidden City.

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